By Lucas Shaw
NEW YORK (TheWrap.com) - Film Independent has selected eight filmmakers for its 12th annual Directing Labs, which will give the group of directors access to digital cameras and other production resources to pursue their latest projects.
Mentors will also help the filmmakers with script feedback, editing and other tools for their films. This year's mentors include James Ponsoldt, director of 2013 Sundance hit "The Spectacular Now" and Angela Robinson, writer and director for TV shows such as ‘The L Word."
Past lab participants include Sheldon Candis for "LUV," which premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, and Robber Pickering, whose "Natural Selection" was nominated for Best First Feature at the 2012 Independent Spirit Awards. Film Independent hosts both the Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival.
The eight filmmakers are Nicholas Greene, Jacob Hatley, Krisy Gosney, Aldo Velasco, Amber Sealey, Daniel Casey, Morna Ciraki and Alex Moratto.
Greene, a New York-based Brit, is working on ‘A Death in the Andes," about a farmer in the Bolivian highlands who goes to the city to try and abduct a doctor to aide his mother's fight against a rare disease. His short "Salar" was a shortlisted for the 2011 Oscars.
Hatley made his first movie about The Band drummer Levon Helm, and now is at work on "Carolina Highway Killer." That project is about a party girl and a hustler who face off against a dangerous trucker.
Gosney will work on "Folsom Street," a film set in San Francisco two decades ago that chronicles a lesbian couple and what happens in the neighborhood when one of them changes her sex.
Velasco, a Mexico native, has screened his shorts at Sundance, South by Southwest and the Los Angeles Film Festival. He is at work on "God Loves Stu," which relays the story of Stu Rasmussen who was elected mayor of Silverton, Oregon in 2008. Rasmussen was the first openly transgender mayor in history.
Sealey's, whose last feature was "How to Cheat," will work on "New Mexican Rain," about an 11-year old who wants sex after her parents' divorce.
Casey, a Detroit native who made his debut with "The Death of Michael Smith," will work on "Straight Edge," which chronicles a lonely 16-year old enveloped by the world of punk culture.
Music video veteran Ciraki will work on "Sunday Billy Sunday," a project about Father Billy Acosta, a pastor who aims to kill 99 campers in order to speak with God.
North Carolina graduate Moratto will seek help on an untitled Amazon project about two brothers who try to smuggle enough lumber to save their home from loggers.